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Research Papers

Geographical Limitations on Integral Collector Storage Collectors Due to Freezing

[+] Author and Article Information
Frederick S. Schollenberger

Mechanical Engineering,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, CO 80309
e-mail: scott.schollenberger@gmail.com

Frank Kreith

Mechanical Engineering,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, CO 80309
e-mail: fkreith@comcast.net

Jay Burch

National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
Golden, CO 80401
e-mail: jay.burch@nrel.gov

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received December 5, 2012; final manuscript received September 23, 2014; published online November 20, 2014. Editor: Gilles Flamant.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(3), 031003 (Jun 01, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1328; doi: 10.1115/1.4028913 History: Received December 05, 2012; Revised September 23, 2014; Online November 20, 2014

Passive integral collector storage (ICS) solar water heaters can potentially heat water at lower costs then active systems with freeze protection. However, ICS panels can freeze in cold weather. This study developed a model relating the freeze behavior to climate conditions, validated the model experimentally and then ran the model with long term U.S. weather data to delineate regions safe for the passive solar heaters. Both, a single- and a double-glazed tubular ICS panels were modeled and tested. It was found that freezing begins when the water in the supply/return lines freezes and initiates a pressure build up in the collector which can eventually burst the large collector tubes when the water inside freezes and expands. It was found that freezing can be delayed by installing heat tape over the supply/return lines. Using a model of the collector and TMY2 weather data, correlation maps were developed to show in which regions of the U.S. ICS panels with and without heat tapes can be installed safely.

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References

Buildings Energy Data Book, “Chapter 2: Residential Sector.” Available at: http://buildingsdatabook.eren.doe.gov/ChapterIntro2.aspx
U.S. Department of Energy, “Solar Water Heaters.” Available at: http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=12850
Salasovich, J., Burch, J., and Barker, G., 2002, “Geographic Constrainsts on Passive Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems due to Pipe Freezing,” Sol. Energy, 73(6), pp. 469–474. [CrossRef]
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Burch, J., Heater, M., Brandemuhl, M., and Krarti, M., 2006, “Pipe Freeze Prevention for Passive Solar Water Heaters Using a Room-Air Natural Convection Loop,” 35th Annual Conference of American Solar Energy Society, Denver, CO, July 8–13, Paper No. NREL/CP-550-39722.
Burch, J., Heater, M., Brandemuhl, M., and Krarti, M., 2006, “Northward Market Extension for Passive Solar Water Heaters by Using Pipe Freeze Protection With Freeze-Tolerant Piping,” 35th Annual Conference of American Solar Energy Society, Denver, CO, July 8–13, Paper No. NREL/CP-550-39664.
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Figures

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Fig. 5

Temperature and strain plot for single-glazed panel

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Fig. 6

Single-glazed panel with heat tape installed

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Fig. 7

Experimental versus analytical heat transfer coefficient for single-glazed panel. Vertical lines represent uncertainty in the data.

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Fig. 8

Single glaze panel freeze incident

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Fig. 9

Experimental and model data for fourth freeze period

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Fig. 10

U.S. maps representing regions of safe and unsafe installation for the single-glazed panel and double-glazed panel. White represents safe regions with no heat tape, grey represents safe regions with heat tape, black represents regions where the panel will plastically deform and may be subject to failure and the dots represent the weather site locations.

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Fig. 11

Map illustrating probability of pipe freeze for a 1.9 cm pipe with 2.54 cm insulation. The x's represent weather site locations, TMY2 sites.

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